Trump fighter Kamala Harris edging Feinstein in popularity


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For decades, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been California’s most popular national politician. But a new poll shows that newbie Kamala Harris, who has become an outspoken leader of the Trump “resistance” in her first eight months in office, is starting to eclipse the grand dame.

“Feinstein is being upstaged by this young upstart,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Government Studies.

In this historically divisive political climate in the era of President Donald Trump, young voters in particular are finding Harris’ newfound role as a tough-talking fighter more alluring than Feinstein’s longheld reputation as a practical dealmaker.

Harris has become so popular so fast that many national pundits are floating the name of the first-year senator and former California attorney general as a possible presidential contender in 2020.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., questions Attorney General Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about his role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the investigation into contacts between Trump campaign associates and Russia, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

But most California voters say that, for now at least, they want her to stay where she is, according to the Berkeley IGS Poll.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said they want her to run for president, compared to 49 percent who want her to remain in the Senate. Twenty-nine percent had no opinion.

While Democrats in general remain loyal to Feinstein, only 45 percent of California voters are inclined to support her if she decides to run for a fifth term next year, while 41 percent are not.

“That’s not a great position for a politician to be in,” said Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. “You want people to focus on your plans and your accomplishments, not your retirement scenario.”

That the 84-year-old Feinstein, who took office in 1992 after serving as San Francisco mayor, still remains popular among her California electorate — with a 50 approval rating — “is no small feat,” DiCamillo said. But it’s a dip from 59 percent approval in March — and comes after two events in San Francisco when she was greeted by a standing ovation in one but booed at both when she essentially said Trump should be given a chance to redeem himself.

Francesca Wander holds up a sign expressing approval for a comment during a feisty town hall meeting held by …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics

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